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A satisfying homemade syrup that's perfect as a gift this festive season. So simple to make, simply infuse the blitzed pears with the other ingredients overnight and bottle up in sterilised bottles See method
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Empty the pears and their juice into a large saucepan and blitz with a stick blender. Stir in the dried spices, fresh and stem ginger and syrup, and 500ml water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the pared lemon zest, cover and set aside at room temperature to cool and infuse for at least 6 hrs or overnight.
Strain everything through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Add the sugar and bring to a simmer over a low-medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup into sterilised* gifting bottles; leave to cool. Will keep for up to 3 months in a cool, dark place and use within 2 weeks once opened.
To use: Heat 400ml syrup with 750ml cider, red or white wine for a winter warmer, or top up with fizzy water or bubbly.
*To sterilise glass bottles, wash in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Dry in the oven for 15-20 mins at gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C until hot and completely dry. Boil rubber seals for 10 mins, then leave to dry.
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